The kids are in bed. The dishes are done. Lunches are packed. It’s time to unwind with a good book…
“If it were only this simple?” Isn’t that what you’re thinking?
So how do we go from being innocent children, listening to our parents or our Kindergarten teachers read these theatrical portrayals of dinosaurs eating our homework, or a girl who loves pink so much her town is called Pinkville, to falling asleep four pages into a book we’ve been reading for months?
If your nightstand looks like mine, you’ve got three or four books you’ve started, a little dust, and a lot of good intentions.
Well, you’re in the right place!
I almost feel as if I need to have a “Reading Log for Moms” by my bed so I can jot down my 10-15 minutes of word time before my eyes begin to close.
As we approach National Literacy Week, I feel like I’m writing not as a wife, a mom, or a teacher but as a woman who misses books.
To begin my quest of finding my love for a good read again, I know I must dig a little deeper to where this love began, right? I can remember as a child, my mom reading some of my very first “favorites” to me.
I can feel the pages. I can see the captured illustrations.
As young as four years old, I would study the details of the pictures, the expressions on the characters’ faces, and of course, I could recite the words verbatim. Even though we have moved quite a lot since I was a child, these treasures were saved and passed on to my little girl.
Reading these beloved titles to her brought back an ocean of memories and a great sense of love for a simple, good read.
Then, as I got older, I started to “find my niche.” Maybe it was a mystery series, Sci-Fi, or comics. I can remember jumping all over from third grade through high school, reading a few books in a series, soaking up the stories told by others and the lessons learned in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul, to enjoying a high school summer reading requirement once or twice (Of Mice and Men, To Kill a Mockingbird, or Great Expectations ring a bell to anyone).
Maybe I’m showing my age! I digress.
And while all of these past experiences don’t seem to accumulate to an ever-present love of reading, I do believe it was the act of reading that hooked me. The motion of learning the vocabulary, feeling the characters, or the story being portrayed leaves me curious. How do you make time as a busy mom, or even as a busy woman, for what seems so small in comparison, but for your mind is so imperative? How can we encourage our kids to continue experiencing the joy they feel now with a good book as they get older?
“Children are made readers on the laps of their parents.”
A dear friend once shared with me that to help your child exude the joy of reading, they must also see you experiencing that same freeing moment. Have you heard this? Yes! It makes sense, right? As an educator, I can see this as fact-based. And yet, as a busy mom, I struggle to find the “me time” to dive into the pages before my eyelids become too heavy.
So I believe I’ve come to this. A word that has been my go-to for 2021: Intentional.
We are intentional with our passion for our children and what we introduce to them. We are intentional with our relationships and building strong bonds. We are intentional with our faith or our personal fitness goals. And so, reflecting on where I started as a young reader, a listening reader, a learning reader, I know I intend to find my love for reading again. I want to show my kids that our joy of reading doesn’t go away. It may change or transform.
And it is okay if I fall asleep and reread the same page four times.
For the love of literacy, girl… keep reading your book!
Here are a few great resources that may help kick start this journey back into the joy of a good book:
Kaycee Simpson did an amazing job sharing her personal story and love for reading in this post for National Read a Book Day!
Melissa Benator wrote a great piece with some super suggestions for a young tween/teen reader in Summer Reads for Tweens!
And if you’re looking for a fun and low-key book club, join the Pensacola Mom Collective Book Club and find out what we are reading next!